Kid won't eat dinner or do their homework? You can try withholding dessert and video games, but that only builds resentment from the little darlings.

Many parents, myself included, find that incentivizing behavior is the ticket to success.

Go a week without picking on your sister? Here's a trip to the arcade.

Perfect grades for the semester? New video game.

We're not talking about throwing a cookie into the mouth of a screaming child after a parent rejects buying a $200 LEGO castle. That's bribery, not incentivizing, and it's not a good way to build long-term habits.

The idea is to express that doing something of value can have even more, extra value attached to it. It's rewarding the right behavior to help them see the value of that behavior. It works for many parents, and it works for many businesses.

It’s holiday shopping season. People have abandoned their families to shop on Thanksgiving, then stood outside in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday waiting for doors to open.

They’ve dutifully ignored work (on occasion) to browse online retailers. They’ve sharpened their elbows and mobilized through intense crowds at malls, warehouse stores, and big box retailers.

People will go to great lengths to get a great deal. They’ll do things outside their normal scope of behavior, especially this time of year.

In fact, if you browse through our collection of coupon statistics, you’ll see that valuable merchant content inspires people to try a lot of new things.

Even mobile payments.


So you’ve built and launched a loyalty program. Congratulations!

Over the course of my years working with merchants on coupon campaigns, I’ve found one common, recurring question: How can a coupon can help me connect with the right person at the right time?

In other words, the merchant wants to know how to connect to people who aren’t a current customer, at a time when that person is looking to make a purchase.

That isn’t just an issue with coupons, it’s really the key to overall business success, right? If we had a formula to get in front of the right person at the right time we’d all be billionaires.

Are we heading into the most competitive holiday shopping season ever?

We know last year was a little intense, beginning with a Black Friday/Cyber Monday full of deep discounts and winding up with a large percentage of consumers holding out for last second deals. The result was a bloodbath on price tags, as retailers had no choice but to cut prices to keep up.

Deloitte predicts 2014 holiday shopping will increase by 13% over last year, up to around $1300 per household. That’s a good sign for everyone – namely, more money to go around for every business, right? No more deep discounts or fire sales, right?

I’m a mobile wallet user, sure. I used it once when my gas tank was nothing but fumes and my physical wallet was nowhere to be found. I used it another time when I reached the checkout line with a load of groceries but was without my physical wallet again.

I’m a huge fan of mobile wallets (when I don’t have my physical wallet)!

In all seriousness, this is the experience of many mobile wallet “users.” Many if not most mobile users have made a payment or two with their phones, but at this point, the ongoing adoption isn’t there.

Could it be that mobile wallets take 60% to 400% more effort to use than leather wallets?

Let me explain.